"Use HDMI AVI signalling" video option should only be used at SD resolution


We have a new option in the July update for playback of 4:3 video, in the Player settings: “Use HDMI AVI signalling”. This is a great addition for playing DVD remuxes - for the first time, we can now get the correct aspect ratio for both 4:3 and 16:9 material, with no loss of resolution, and the correct AR being selected automatically instead of having to do it manually.


This is an option which only makes sense for standard-definition videos. If I’m playing (say) a 1440x1080 video, this option should be ignored, and the default should be to display the video pillar-boxed. This feature is needed for SD because SD video is generally 720x480/480 or 720x576/50, and it’s only the metadata which tells the playback device whether it is to be played at 16:9 or 4:3. But in the case of a 1440x1080 video, the aspect ratio is provided by the actual video data, and you don’t need to signal a 4:3 AR.

What my Vero 4K+ seems to be doing at the moment is to stretch the video to 1920x1080, then tell the playback device to display it with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The most visible consequence of this is that subtitles appear horizontally compressed. If it’s doing what I think it’s doing, there will also be some unnecessary horizontal upscaling going on (before the subtitles are added) - if so, that will compromise image quality a little.

I’ve always been dubious about Kodi applying the central 4:3 Playback settings to HD-resolution 4:3 videos; but it makes even less sense with the new option.

Where can I find out more information on system updates?

Actually, if we’re being pedantic, it’s not the resolution of the video source that should control whether this setting is applied, it’s the output resolution. If, for whatever reason, 4:3 SD video is upscaled by the Vero to 1080p or 2160p, then pillarboxing it is the right way to go. It’s only when the actual output is 480i/p or 576i/p that we need to use HDMI signalling.


There is content at 1080p in 4:3.


Yes, it is precisely that content that is not being displayed correctly with the new setting.


Correct. That’s not pedantic at all. By rights, TVs should ignore the a/r in the AVI infoframe for HD resolutions but it seems that’s not so. Also we didn’t have any subtitled content in that format to test so missed the double-scaling. Thanks for pointing it up.

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OSMC's July update is here